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Frühstücksparty

June 14, 2010

Guten Morgen, liebe Freunde!

For those who don’t know, I’m spending my summer studying German (for the first time) at NYU. The course is taught at a breakneck speed, cramming the equivalent of 4 semesters of German into a mere 12 weeks. I’m now entering my fifth week of classes, and it’s very intense, but also very rewarding. And last week, before our first midterm exam, we had a little breakfast celebration, what our teacher called a Frühstücksparty (‘Frühstück’ is German for ‘breakfast’). I was very excited to experience what a semi-tradtional German breakfast is like, and pleased to find out that it wasn’t just a bunch of meat paired with more meat. In fact, there was plenty of vegetarian fare up for grabs at our little potluck. Check out my plate:

Starting at 12 o’clock and moving clockwise, what we have here is half of a Hörnchen (croissant), Brot mit Tomaten, Schnittlauch und Frischkäse (bread with tomatoes, chives, and cream cheese), crackers, some Weintrauben (grapes), one slice of Apfel (apple), and one slice of Apfelsine (orange). All of this was delicious, or as the Germans say, ‘lecker’. The bread with cream cheese was definitely the most German thing on my plate, and definitely the highlight of the meal for me. But what’s that in the center of the plate, you ask? Well, nothing other than my contribution to our meal:

What you see there is a gluten-free Banana Nut Muffin! One of my classmates has a gluten allergy, and since I do enough weird vegan baking on my own already, I figured I’d volunteer to take a crack at gluten-free baking and make something he could enjoy (a more pressing need given the high quantity of gluten-y bread in our breakfast).

As I found out, gluten-free baking is not all that hard. The main difference is that you need to use a mix of different, gluten-free flours, along with a little bit of xanthum gum to make everything come together. I found this recipe on Gluten Free Mommy, which was itself a modification of this recipe for standard Banana Nut Muffins, which I then modified further to make vegan (a flax egg for the regular egg, and vegan margarine for the butter). It was a breeze.

Most importantly, though, these came out tasting very good! I wouldn’t say that they were incredibly awesome or anything (nothing I ever bake seems to come out that good), but they were still very tasty, and the lack of gluten really did not subtract anything from them. And thankfully, they were a big hit with all of my classmates as well!

So there you have it. I’m very happy that my first gluten-free baking experience was such a success, and I’m excited to do it again sometime soon (hopefully for another German food party!). And when I do, you know where to come to hear all about it. Bis bald!

Until we eat again,

Willie

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